You’re a fan of packaged food
Most processed food is chock-full of sodium, which isn’t just bad for your heart—it can also lead to kidney problems. When you’re showing signs you eat too much salt, your body needs to flush the sodium out when you pee, and it takes calcium with it. In turn, having too much calcium in your urine increases your risk for kidney stones, says James Simon, MD, nephrologist with Cleveland Clinic. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends capping sodium at 2,300 milligrams a day, but the average American has more than 3,400 milligrams every day—and some people eat twice that. Take a look at your nutrition label and you might be surprised how quickly sodium can add up. “People look at carbs and fat and calories, but they don’t pay attention to sodium,” says Dr. Simon. Make sure you watch out for these 6 warning signs of kidney stones.
Your blood pressure is out of control
High blood pressure is hard on your whole body—including your kidneys. “Kidneys are basically one big set of blood vessels with urine drains,” says Dr. Simon. “If you have high blood pressure in your big blood vessels, you have high blood pressure in your smaller blood vessels.” Letting high blood pressure go unchecked could damage the blood vessels leading to your kidneys, plus scar the organs themselves. Try using these 31 things to avoid high blood pressure to keep make sure your levels stay healthy.